Jul 202012

Local voluntary organisation Access To Training And Employment will hold their Annual General Meeting next Friday.  Co-chair Jonathan Russell tells Voice readers more about the event and the project which aims to create opportunities for people with disabilities.

The group’s AGM will take place at 2.30pm on 27th July, at the Hamilton School on Queens Road.  Guest speaker Dave Simmers, chief executive of Community Food Initiatives, North East, will present a talk on social enterprises.  There will also be talks on Crafty Things, Café Cairncry, and Neat Ideas, led by office bearers of these projects

Access to Training and Employment became a voluntary organisation in 1998 and its prime objective is to promote and support people with disabilities in the Aberdeen area in training and employment.

Access to Training and Employment is a user led organisation with the majority of people on its management committee having a learning and/or physical disability.

Acting on needs identified by the membership, Access to Training and Employment became the lead organisation in developing a number of exciting and innovative projects.

In 2009 we considerably downsized due to cutbacks and the ending of partnerships with Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeen College.


Over the past year we have developed a particularly constructive partnership with private sector organisation AMEC, which will help us in having a more secure base on which to build.

We are presently running the following three projects:


This is a joint venture between people with disabilities and volunteers, supported by qualified, experienced craft support workers, which is presently based at the Rubislaw Church centre.  Sewing skills are developed to a high standard and it gives participants a real work experience.

We produce high quality Tartan and Harris Tweed goods for sale in a variety of settings.  The signature product is our Scottie dog cushion which has proved very popular with the international community of Aberdeen.

We also produce a variety of Tartan and Tweed bags, all unique and very special products.  We are also moving into producing corsages and bow-ties.


Café Cairncry operates on Mondays in Cairncry Community Centre, serving a healthy lunch for some 20 to 25 senior citizens and other local people who either attend activities at the centre, or just go along for a companionable meal.

Four young adults with learning disabilities prepare and serve the meals, under the supervision of two paid support staff. They learn about health and safety issues relating to catering and are involved in all aspects of running the Café, which provides practical experience and scope for skills development, confidence building and varied social interaction.

The Café is a popular project with a friendly and welcoming atmosphere.  It is much valued by the local community and, at times, the customers range in age from 4 to 80.  The project also provides training designed to enable young people with disabilities to move on to work in less ‘sheltered’ environments.


This project has started over the past year and aims at making a variety of specialised cards, both by hand and by the use of computers, which we will endeavour to sell at premises used by AMEC.  Individual skills have been identified and progressed and we have an excellent team of volunteers and trainees.

The project is based at Reach Out and we usually meet fortnightly at the Info Hub at Aberdeen Market

The Access To Training And Employment AGM is being held at Hamilton School, 55-57 Queens Road, Aberdeen, between 2.30pm and 4.00pm, on Friday 27th July, 2012.

Further information

Access To Training And Employment (Sco28228) – Patron Dame Anne Begg MP

e-mail accesstotrainingandemployment2@hotmail.co.uk

Contact Jonathan Russell, Co-chair, on 01224 586435, or 07582 456233 and leave a telephone number, name and message.

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  12 Responses to “Creating Opportunities For People With Disabilities”

  1. I was reading The Sunday Mail magazine Right At Home and it featured a Scottie Dog Harris Tweed cushion. Could you tell me if these are available to buy and how much they are? Thanks.

    • Yes they are available to buy although stocks are very low due to the demand coming up to Christmas. If you look on our Facebook page Crafty Things Scottie- land it will give you an idea of the colours of Harris Tweed we use and you can contact us Craftythings1@ googlemail.com

  2. Saw one of the “Scottie dog cushions in a sunday paper. Would like to know the price of them as i would like to send two to my son for a house warming presant as they live in England. Would be grateful for a reply. Regards May Smart.

  3. Interested in the Scottie dog tweed cushions, can you give me price and colour options please. Regards Karen Cavin

    • Thankyou for your interest in our Scottie Dog cushions. There are many colours available .We have a face book page Crafty Things Scottie-land which will give you an idea of some of the colours.please contact us at Craftythings1@googlemail.com.regards Jan Pearce

  4. Loved your Scottie cushions can I purchase two of them? What tweeds do they
    come in.

    Kind regards
    Irene Tod.

    • Thankyou for you’re interest in our Scottie Dog cushions. For an idea of colours you could have a look at our facebook page Crafty Things Scottie-land. And contact us on Craftythings1@googlemail.com. Regards Jan Pearce

  5. I also saw the Scottie Dog Cushsions and would like to purchase. Please advise. Many thanks

  6. Hello, I also saw your gorgeous Harris Tweed Scottie Dogs in the Sunday Mail and I would love to be able to purchase two.
    Could you please advise how much these are and how I can purchase these?? Thank you.

  7. Re Scottie Dog cushions. You need to contact the project. See contact details in the above article under the heading ‘Further information’

  8. Hi all, delighted that so many people like our Scottie Dog cushions. To contact us direct you can email craftythings1@gmail.com or visit our Facebook page Crafty Things Scottie-land.
    Keep the orders coming. Dogs are £45 each plus postage and we have lots of other HarrisTweed products for sale, too. Maggie

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